Housing charity slams “bedroom tax”

A LEADING housing charity has warned Glasgow city council bedroom tax will cost the taxpayer more, not less.

Shelter Scotland says the bedroom tax — where people judged to be under-occupying by one bedroom will have their housing benefit slashed by 14 per cent — will force 
those who can’t afford the 
shortfall to downsize or run up arrears.

Because of what the charity describes as a “chronic shortage of one-bedroom social houses in Glasgow” they believe many in the city will have to turn to the private rented sector.

In Glasgow the average rent per week for a two-bedroom social house in Glasgow is £63, compared to £90 per week for a one-bedroom property in the private rented sector.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “This analysis shows just how ill-conceived the bedroom tax is.

“The simple fact is that there are just not enough one-bedroom social homes in Glasgow for people to downsize to.

“This is going to force households to either make up the shortfall themselves, run up arrears and face possible eviction or move into the private sector where rents are much higher.”

Glasgow list MSP Patrick Harvie has asked why there has been no “wave of public outrage.”

He said: “When this policy begins in April we’re likely to see increased poverty, debt, evictions and homelessness.

“This isn’t an accident; it’s the deliberate aim of the policy.

“Many other changes will come in at the same time, mostly 
uncosted, untested and 
unjustified.

“Not so very long ago, a battered and indebted country fought for and won a welfare state to be proud of.

“It’s now being dismantled in front of our eyes, and this generation must summon up the same determination and win that same battle all over again.”